What price reputation in Pharma?

When it comes to providing life-saving medication and improving global health outcomes, the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation is second to none. However, being held in high esteem means there is further to fall when things go wrong; yet certain factors that can damage a pharma company’s reputation are entirely avoidable.

The Cost of Non-Compliance

This is particularly the case with compliance – where poor compliance, whether deliberate or accidental, can damage a company’s corporate reputation, its operations and the bottom line. In fact, according to PwC, pharmaceutical companies have collectively paid out more than $3 billion in settlements and fines since 2000.

From Deliberate Breaches to Inadvertent Risks

Extreme, and possible deliberate, breaches range from violations of manufacturing practices to unethical marketing strategies, leading to product recalls, legal penalties, and a loss of consumer trust. However, pharma companies are at just as much risk from inadvertent compliance breaches – particularly within a company’s online digital estate – where ‘old’ content is not updated and a lack of vigilance means things simply don’t get picked up. And as pharma’s online content continues to proliferate year upon year, the risk of non-compliance, however unintentional it may be, increases exponentially. But the harsh reality is that external stakeholders – consumers, healthcare professionals, politicians, and the media – rarely discriminate between deliberate and accidental breaches. In their eyes, a breach is a breach, irrespective of intent.

The Long-term Repercussions of a Damaged Reputation

A company that is seen as disregarding regulations can easily slip into a downward spiral where they lose stakeholders’ trust, leading to decreased sales, difficulties in launching new products and increased scrutiny from regulators. This reputational damage can have long-term effects too as it can take years for a company to rebuild its standing after a major compliance issue, during which time companies become vulnerable to intensified competition from companies with better reputations.

Embracing Technology to Ensure Compliance

Yet with proactive monitoring and automatic scanning, many of these online breaches are completely avoidable. Technology now exists that can examine a pharma company’s entire online estate on a regular basis and if it spots any problematic content ‘needles’ amongst a company’s thousands of digital ‘haystacks’, it can collaborate with multiple departments by creating insights, notifications, tasks, escalations and approvals.

In so doing, it reduces risk, lowers costs and not only delivers but also demonstrates online compliance, which is the key to good digital governance.

So what price do YOU put on your company’s reputation?

Get in Touch

If you’re a pharmaceutical director, manager, or part of a digital governance team, and want to know more about how our technology can help you streamline and automate compliance, please get in touch.